Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Helping the Environment

What's this?

It is a shopping bag knitted out of used supermarket plastic carrier bags! Now before you think that I have entirely 'lost the plot' knitting with plastic from old bags, this idea was actually in one of our National newspapers a little while ago. I decided I must try this to see if it works. It does and they are very strong. I plan to do another one, larger this time and with different coloured bags. It is a big issue in England at the moment to use reusable bags.
This was knitted on UK (Imperial size) 00 needles. or 9 mm (Metric) or US 13
One cuts the top and bottom off the old bags then cuts strips about 1 inch wide round and round (like peeling an apple) until the bag is now just one long strip. 30 stitches seems to be about right (but one can do any size of course) and knitted whatever length is desired. I used 5 stitches for the handles. Bag is sewn up with the same strips of plastic and it is important to sew up tightly, really fastening in the ends well in order for it to be strong.
When this was first in the newspaper people were asked to see if they could come up with anything better and I was amazed the following week to see the creations that had been sent to the paper. All different and very artistic. One person had also knitted a hat in plastic to go with the bag! Think I will just stick with the bag!!


Penless Thoughts said...

I had seen this a few years ago and forgotten about it. I don't knit but think it's one great idea. Someone ought to start marketing them for people like me who don't knit.

Becky said...

What a GREAT idea. I love it. My grandma used to make rugs out of plastic bags. And chair covers. This was YEARS and YEARS ago.

I just bought 4 large canvas bags with handles to use at shopping bags. I am tired of recycling the plastic and having them all over the garage. We need a few for practical purposes like trash in our small cans, but we don't need that many.

Britt-Arnhild said...

How cute. And good for the environment.
I saw alot about the Waste Campaign on British TV last week.

lorenzothellama said...

What a brilliant idea. One of my canvas bags is on it's last legs so may well have a go. Only thing is, I don't have many plastic bags as I always use my canvas ones, so may well not have enough length to knit one.

Jeanette said...

Gday from Australia.
What a great idea for plastic bag useds, WE started Using Green canvas bags purchased at supermarkets for 99cents, now you can get them at all shops in diffent I have many in the boot of my car and use them all the time..


It always amazes me how talented some people are. That is something. Thanks for letting us see it. connie from Texas

Hillside Garden said...

Oh yes, I know this idea with old plastic bags well.


Isobel said...

Your idea is great!I'm planning to sew some shopper bags to me as I completely hate to have tons of plastic bags. I just saw now in the morning on telly that there are some people sewing bags and giving it for free to anyone that gives up their plastic. How sweet is that?!

Merisi said...

Wow, this is one great idea, of you have an overflow of these nasty bags.
Here in Austria, people carry their groceries either in pretty willow baskets, or canvas bags, while in the US it was still "paper or plastic?". Even there, though, supermarkets have begun offering large canvass bags at modest prices.
I have noticed that in Austria they enquire first, if you need things wrapped, like a head of lettuce, most people simply put it without paper in their market baskets.

Anonymous said...

What a neat idea .... I'll have to give it a try! I always have lots and lots of plastic bags. Although I use a LOT to put used kitty litter contents in especially .... I always have lots more. And then there are those pesky ones that get holes in the bottom that just aren't suitable for putting kitty refuse in!

Thanks for sharing!

Lorrie said...

Great idea! I wonder if there's a crochet version since I don't knit. I hate plastic bags. I'm thinking of sewing up a few produce-size bags in tulle (netting) to take for things like apples and oranges.

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

That is a wonderful idea! You know, the first time hubby and I saw those plastic bags was in England back on our honeymoon (YEARS ago)! We thought they were such a great idea, as we were all still using paper bags at home. Within a couple years, the U.S. started using the plastic bags, too.

Think of all the plastic that's been made just in those bags alone! wow!

lorenzothellama said...

Thanks for the comments on the little kits! I would have loved to have kept them myself and if I lived locally I would have done as they were young enough to be tamed. I didn't think Her Majesty's Customs and Excise would have been overly delighted if I bought five kittens home in my hand luggage!
With the large plastic bags that are delivered by charities, I tend to used them as dustbin bags. I watch with amazement and horror at supermarkets and shops when people ask for a bag for maybe ONE item. I hate having to accept a plastic bag, and only sometimes am forced to use one.
My most recent purchase for £7.95 is an electric shredder. I am having great fun shredding all sorts of things, even junk mail. My daughter, Wren, is very anxious about identity theft and she persuaded me to buy one. All the lovely shreddings go straight onto the compost heap!

carolyn said...

What a great idea.